Saturday, October 4, 2008

Have you heard of this kind of breast cancer?

It's called Inflammatory Breast Cancer, or IBC. 

And no, neither had I.  But here's the scary thing: In October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you'll see pink-ribbon campaigns everywhere (including on my favorite sweet treat, Dove Dark Chocolate Promises -- which, btw, are on sale for two for $6 at Walgreen's with an October coupon) and many exortations to do self-examinations and get a mammogram -- but nary a mention of this rare but especially deadly form of cancer. 

Here's a  National Cancer Institute fact sheet with signs and other information. The most common symptoms are a red, itchy and/or swollen breast (doctors frequently misdiagnose it as bug bites), inverted nippes, and pain or tenderness.  Other sympoms are listed on the Mayo Clinic site.  And, here's a news clip that shows what some symptoms may look like, and discusses how little awareness there is out there of this form of breast cancer.

So, bottom line: Don't panic, just be aware, and take all the prescribed precautions. 


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